Treatment of Photographic Processing Waste

Authored by: Irvan Dahlan , Hamidi Abdul Aziz , Yung-Tse Hung , Lawrence K. Wang

Handbook of Advanced Industrial and Hazardous Wastes Management

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466513419
eBook ISBN: 9781315117423
Adobe ISBN:


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The excellent characteristics of silver have made it a very valuable raw material in many industrial fields, especially in photographic processing industries due to its photosensitive properties. However, photographic processing industries have contributed a significant amount of silver waste to the environment. During the development of photographic processing, silver ions precipitate with many organic and inorganic compounds. The effect of silver and its fate in the environment are still controversial and remains a topic of scientific study. Nevertheless, as different degrees of toxicity are shown by different forms of silver, it is necessary to remove this metal from photographic processing wastewater. Most research and development for photographic processing waste treatment had generally emphasized on how to efficiently remove and recover the valuable silver from photographic processing waste. This chapter reviews information on the historical development of the photographic processing industry, process description of black and white paper/film, development of color processes, and sources and as well as characteristics of photographic processing waste. Silver criteria in the environment were also briefly discussed. This is followed by the main discussion of this chapter, namely treatment methods and recovery techniques of silver from photographic processing waste.

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